Thursday, February 20, 2003


...Would appear to have invaded my bloodstream after all. I have sat, only a little smugly, pleased with myself for having managed to stay healthy through this ferocious flu epidemic that has swept our valley, figuring it was my turn to weather the storm unscathed, for once, after bouts with every other goddamned bug that has come to town since I did...

But it would seem that my schedule is catching up with me, and this last breakneck week finally weaked my resolve, in body and mind. I feel the first chills, the first headache, the first body aches of the crud (though I can't discount the terrifyingly bad breakfast I had this morning during our hideously early [especially after a late night class the night before] meeting... restaurants, I am still convinced, are not places to have breakfast. Cook it yourself or do without).

And I have another big fat hairy meeting that I can't get out of tonight.

So, I bid you adieu for now, with the following parting shot: HB 264 has yet to get out of committee, and HB 91 has yet to come up for debate. You know what to do.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003


House Bill 264, a measure to help create "Business-Ready Communities", as previously reported here, in the Red-Star Trombone, and other publications, made it out of the House of Representatives and into the Senate last week, subtantially altered as per the wishes of LIANT and its many allies. Thanks to all of you who tweaked the tails of committee members and House members in general (and to those of you who couldn't be bothered, phooey on you and yours for seven generations).

But of course it ain't over. The bill now awaits the pleasure of the Senate Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee, who have had it since last Wednesday. There is no evidence that they've really even looked at it yet, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to give them their marching orders: let it out and recommend Do Pass, little chickadees.

The committee members in whose hands the fate of this bill currently rests are as follows (click on the names to link to instantly e-mail them if your browser is so enabled):

CHAIRMAN Bill Hawks -

John Barrasso -

Ken DeCaria -

Jayne Mockler -

But wait, there's more!

House Bill 91, creating a sales tax exemption for agricultural implements, has made it out of the Senate Revenue Committee on a unanimous vote, BUT at least two of the "yes" votes did not seem terribly enthusiastic to witnesses. Now, I've been asked not to name who the near-naysayers were, but I imagine many of my more astute/cynical experienced readers already know who they are (hint: same gender as YHB), and I believe that information is available elsewhere.

Regardless... It's time to start talking to the general Senate membership, urging them to make sure this bill gets its hearing on the Senate Floor as well as a passage! So, once again, click HERE to access a complete list of legislator e-mail addresses. There are other ways to contact them, yes, such as leaving them phone messages through the Senate's receptionist (307-777-7711) (it shouldn't suprise any of you to learn that the good folks at that number and the House's know my voice from the second I say hello. Sigh), but e-mail is quick. One click and you've got a direct pipeline to the legislator him or herself (gotta love Wyoming, folks!). And most of them, even the ones you think are kind of arrogant jerks, check e-mail pretty frequently, and many even respond!

I've had a fun and spirited E-discussion with Rep. Pete Illoway, for instance, and so even though we still disagree on some things, I think he's a helluva guy whom I'm proud to know.

Plus, well, put it this way: the sooner we get the fates of these two bills settled, the sooner I'll stop nagging you, dear readers, to do your part.

So come on, guys, do your part!

Monday, February 17, 2003


It was Sunday afternoon as I found myself, my Enabling Assistant, and several other assorted hangers-on hooting “Tent of Decadence” at everyone who came to visit us during the 23rd Annual Donald E. Erickson Memorial Chariot Races this weekend that I first really began to ponder some of the less morally salutory aspects of my job as your chamber chick (having long ago surrendered any pretence of moral or other authority as Your Humble Blogger).

Here I was, worn out from a week of hard partying that did not fail to include horrible things like shots of tequila, encouraging others to even greater feats of alcoholism than I had achieved, plying them also with massages, the EA’s sybaritic black bean chili, the Moon Massage Mama’s “cowboy caviar” and, oh yes, the prospect of betting and losing the family fortune on the outcome of a mule race. For a living.

Many years ago, a different chamber of commerce event landed me with the title of Governor of Vice at the tender age of 16. We had, for the purposes of celebrating Saratoga’s 100th anniversary, declared “The Good Times Valley” its own state, and we decided, quite properly, that a state needed a governor, and we decided to elect ours based solely on photographs of the various candidates’ knees. I wrapped my knees in paper bags in tribute to then-famous (this was 1986) “Unknown Comic” and ran as “The Unknown Candidate.” I did not make governor – one of the previously mentioned medical bombshells drew a cute smiley face on her shapely crossed knee and ran away with the election – but as the person who got the fewest votes, I became the Good Times Valley’s Governor of Vice.

At the time it was considered quite an irony because I was such a nerdy little goody-two-shoes, speech team, Students Against Drunk Driving, designated dork – I mean driver – at the few parties I managed to locate by dead reckoning because certainly no one was going to tell the cop’s kid, etc. This was our Governor of Vice, everyone said, skeptically? Whatever.

But it turned out to be pretty prophetic, didn’t it? Because now I make my living tempting people from far away to come out here and spend all their money tooling around the mountainside on snowmobiles and hoping they don’t get lost, freezing half to death as they shiver over an ice hole in Saratoga Lake, paying $10 a head for unlimited sampling at Wyoming’s state microbrew competition, and betting, betting, betting on chariot and mule races.

Betting! On mule races!

And drinking, always drinking, because of course as your chamber chick I run the beer tent! Made extra appealing by the addition of a masseuse!

Tent of Decadence! Tent of Decadence!

Strongly contrasting with the Trailer of Virtue next door, where the boy scouts were serving up wholesome fare like hamburgers and hot dogs and hot chocolate and coffee.

But even that wasn’t so virtuous, since the Trailer of Virtue was also a Trailer of Vice, where all that calcutta money changed hands all weekend long...

Oh, I just can’t win! My entire lifestyle is drenched in sin!

I repent in dust and ashes, and vow to reform all. It’s going to be nothing but straight shooting for me and my chamber from now on. Clean living, milk-drinking, mom-and-apple-pie, maybe some hymn singing...

Oh man, that sounds like a drag!

Good god, what was I thinking?

I really probably just need a nap, don’t I? I mean, listen to me! I almost had myself convinced to start a Saratoga chapter of like the WCTU or something. What’s next, marching around with signs like “Gin is poison?”

OK, false alarm. Tent of Decadence it is.

Thank you for calling the Saratoga/Platte Valley Cham-beer of Commerce. No, that’s not a typo.

I’m on the job!